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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE  LIGHTHOUSE

the years and the perishing of stars, if before
death stiffens his limbs beyond the power of
movement he does a little consciously raise his
numbed fingers to his brow, and square his
shoulders, so that when the search party comes
they will find him dead at his post, the fine figure
of a soldier? Mr. Ramsay squared his shoulders
and stood very upright by the urn.

Who shall blame him, if, so standing for a
moment, he dwells upon fame, upon search
parties, upon cairns raised by grateful followers
over his bones? Finally, who shall blame the
leader of the doomed expedition, if, having
adventured to the uttermost, and used his strength
wholly to the last ounce and fallen asleep not much
caring if he wakes or not, he now perceives by
some pricking in his toes that he lives, and does
not on the whole object to live, but requires
sympathy, and whisky, and someone to tell the
story of his suffering to at once? Who shall
blame him? Who will not secretly rejoice when
the hero puts his armour off, and halts by the
window and gazes at his wife and son, who
very distant at first, gradually come closer and
closer, till lips and book and head are clearly
before him, though still lovely and unfamiliar
from the intensity of his isolation and the waste
of ages and the perishing of the stars, and finally
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